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Local Voices Join In Concern Over Gas Prices | Business

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Local Voices Join In Concern Over Gas Prices
Local Voices Join In Concern Over Gas Prices

The increase in gasoline prices looks to throw the proverbial 'wrench' in what looked like a positive upswing for economic recovery. It is an issue that is effecting all – from the small rural communities in middle Georgia like Cochran, Hawkinsville and Jeffersonville to the bigger communities like Americus, LaGrange and Macon, as well as the metro areas like Atlanta.

According to the American Automobile Association(AAA), gas prices have increased by an average of 14 cents a gallon in the past month and about 30 cents a gallon since November. The gas prices seem to go up each week.

And the people are making their voices heard. Residents of Bleckley and Pulaski counties joined in with their neighbors from the north Georgia area to discuss their thoughts of gas prices.

Kevin Rozar, of Cochran, said, “In my work as a self employed real estate appraiser, I have to drive to different areas for clients. Sometimes, I drive as far as an hour and half one way. Unfortunately, fees for appraisers haven't really changed in the last 10 years, so the increased gas prices cut into my income.”

As a husband and father, Rozar said, “On a personal level, it has affected where we go and how often. We try to make our trips out of town as productive as possible. Instead of a trip to Warner Robins to the movies, now we tend to rent from the RedBox.”

Barbie Holton Huff, a Cochran, Georgia native, residing in Tennessee, said, “Rising gas prices are killing us. I know as a stay-at-home mom, it truly concerns me as much time as I spend on the road carrying my children to and from various activities. I find myself methodically planning out my routes to keep me from any doubling back on routes in order to save gas.”

Kelly Jones of Cochran said, “I don't like it (the increase in gas prices) one bit.”

LaGrange resident, Jim Crites was not surprised. “ I expected it. I try to keep abreast of all the worldly events and am usually an Internet news 'junkie' anyway.”

Crites continued, “It will get worse before it gets better. Iran is driving a lot of the issue, and if things escalate in water ways, well, then prices will be higher than they ever have.”

Pausing, Crites added, “This oil does not only affect gas. It affects all products that petroleum based. As for me, as far as driving , I work four miles from my job, so I can walk.”

Sean Ireland, publications editor for the Georgia Press Association, based in Atlanta, said, “If you commute to your job, and who doesn't, what choice do you have but to pay for gas? There's not really a lot you can do to limit trips in this regard. I don't know that it will affect my habits other than give me heartburn every time I go to fill up.”

Cochran resident Gerry Holland remembered the gas shortage in the 1970s, when she and her family were living in Texas, and “we had to wait in long lines on specific days to get gas for our vehicles.”

When she first noticed the recent surge in gas prices, Holland said, “All I could thing was oh, no, not again.”

Jennifer Day Emery of LaGrange said, “I do what I have to do. I do try to limit my trips to town since I am 12 miles out. I can't just run home in between appointments. With three kids, I am on the go a lot.”

Marcus Johnson of Americus said, “Well, thankfully I don't have a lot of trips planned for the near future, but if I did it would make me think twice about going.”

Cindy Prtichett of Hawkinsville said, “I think it is absolutely ridiculous. It won't slow me down, but it will make my pocketbook much smaller.”

Cochran resident, Kathy L. Williams, who is a traveling nurse, said, “ I cover five counties and our mileage pay will not cover the cost of gas I will use to do my job. It is so sad because we have to work and help our patients.”

Karen Bailey of Hawkinsville's Better Hometown, said, “The gas prices are certain to affect us all and we will all suffer the strain it puts on us.”

Many are blaming the government, relationships with the far East countries and the economy for this gas price surge.

But is that really the answer to solve this problem, which the AAA predicts will be overwhelming by the summer months?

Instead of finger-pointing, one community member suggested, “let's get some action going to keep the prices down.”

Bleckley-Dodge-Pulaski Businesses